Kingsway College, Toronto [CA]
EeStairs + Architecture Counsel
The design of the reception area of the Kingsway College School in Toronto is all about openness and connection, signalling a new kind of ‘experiential learning’ with classrooms and key facilities spread throughout the city. That spirit of innovation is seen in Architecture Counsel’s design of the main staircase, which curves upward asymmetrically in both plan and elevation from a wide plinth.
The balustrades and soffit are steel, with wood-faced treads and risers and handrails of polished bronze. Normally, the EeStairs installation team bring fully completed stairs of this size into building through large ground floor apertures. This time, separate sections of the steel structure had to be craned in through an upper storey of the high-rise building.
Despite this, the geometry of the reassembled staircase is gracefully precise. The handrails become double-curves as they descend to meet the lower landing. An unusual aspect of the design is that a 2m length of the inner handrail has no additional support as it moves clear of the balustrade at the bottom of the stairs. And this meant our installers had to take great care to establish a strong, stable connection between the end of the handrail and the side of the bottom riser.